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DEEP PURPLE, JUDAS PRIEST In Jacksonville, FL W/Photos!

By Travis Failey, Planet Earth Contributor
Monday, September 17, 2018 @ 8:12 AM

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A Night Of Smoke And Fire At Daily’s Place All Photos Ny Travis Failey/Rocket Sports & Entertainment

It was a screaming hot night in Jacksonville on Wednesday as JUDAS PRIEST and DEEP PURPLE continued their co-headlining tour at Daily’s Place. If Daily’s Place doesn’t sound familiar to you, it’s because it’s a new player in the venue game in Jacksonville, and to describe it in one word is easy: AWESOME. Daily’s Place is attached to Everbank Field where the Jacksonville Jaguars play on Sundays, a dome-type theatre which keeps the sound contained in the outdoor building. There is not a bad seat in the house and they also have a great VIP setup with plush couches, etc. It was a perfect place to see two of rock and heavy metal’s best bands of our time. Though some of the names and faces have changed in both bands, they both brought their musical mastery to their throng of fans.

Starting off in support of their recent acclaimed masterpiece Firepower, JUDAS PRIEST blasted BLACK SABBATH’s "War Pigs" through the house speakers then attacked the stage with the title track from Firepower. Firepower debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 chart which was the band's highest charting album ever in the United States. Pretty amazing seeing that the band has been a staple in the music community since 1973.

Monster video screens were blazing with yellow, red and orange streaks with a robot firing beams of fire from hands in war. Taken right from the album cover by Claudio Bergamin, the cover is a throwback to the classic ones from the Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith era.

JUDAS PRIEST followed “Firepower” by taking the fans back to the early days with 2 classics in “Delivering the Goods” from Killing Machine and “Sinner” from Sin After Sin. PRIEST has been changing up the set with different classics that haven’t been played in years, with “Delivering the Goods” being played on tour for the first time since 1978. Guitarist Ritchie Faulkner is fully entrenched in his role as lead axe-slinger following the departure of K.K. Downing and just nails the solo on “Sinner”. Not only is Faulkner an amazing player and a perfect fit for PRIEST, but he also knows how to be a showman by playing to the crowd and putting on a dazzling display of six string theatrics.

JUDAS PRIEST continued a back and forth set list of new material sandwiched by fan favorites as “Lightning Strikes” was followed by “Desert Plains” from the semi-maligned Point of Entry album. Vocalist Rob Halford then addressed and thanked the crowd for coming out to the show. Many in the crowd were drenched with sweat and it was a uncomfortable sight to see Halford donning various leather trench coats in the Florida heat.

With the giant video screens showing massive blue and red gears, JUDAS PRIEST then kicked into “Turbo Lover” from Turbo and the crowd responded with huge cheers of applause. It’s always interesting to see the crowd's reaction to this track because a lot of the die-hard JUDAS PRIEST fans despise the song and a bunch of songs from that album, but for the casual fan, this was a huge song for JUDAS PRIEST primarily due to the MTV age.

The last song of the night from Firepower was next in “Rising From Ruins”. The song has a great buildup and crescendo and with some airplay has a chance to be another hit for them. After this song, JUDAS PRIEST went straight old-school for the rest of the night with “Freewheel Burning”, “You Got Another Thing Coming” (with the crowd going back and forth with Rob Halford during the chorus) and “Hell Bent For Leather”. Halford drove out a new Harley onto the stage like he has been doing for years with the gas tank emblazed in the color scheme from FirePower.

Many in the crowd thought the Mighty PRIEST was through with their set but when drummer Scott Travis started playing the crushing drum beats of the intro to “PainKiller”, another rush of energy and excitement went through the facility. It was the addition of Scott Travis that bled new life into the band in 1990 and the same could be said when Ritchie Faulkner was invited to join 2011. Another new addition for this tour is guitarist Andy Sneap who is filling in for Glenn Tipton who has been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for some time now. Sneap was the producer and also contributed a bit on FirePower.

JUDAS PRIEST continued with “Electric Eye” as blue mechanical camera eyes where showcased on the video screens and then they took a brief break before the two-song encore. No big surprises as they finished up with “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight”. The boys took a bow as the videos screens flashed “Judas Priest Will Be Back” to more cheers from the crowd. With a 50th anniversary tour in the works for next year and the ageless Rob Halford still able to hit all the notes he’s known for, JUDAS PRIEST is once again screaming for vengeance and are on top of the heavy metal pedestal.

After a brief stage changeover, DEEP PURPLE had some big shoes to fill after JUDAS PRIEST’s performance. The crowd was in for a stripped down stage with no bells or whistles from the band other than the large video screens. 5 men playing straight-up, no frills, rock-n-roll and they did it marvelously.

DEEP PURPLE opened with “Highway Star” and then played many songs that if you were not a fan of the band, you probably haven’t heard them. These included “Pictures of Home”, “Bloodsucker” and “Uncommon Man”. Many in the crowd nodded their heads to the beat, but didn’t know the lyrics to sing along to. Unfortunately for DEEP PURPLE, the crowd thinned out considerably as it was a Wednesday night in Jacksonville, but those who stayed were treated to a masterpiece of musicianship. World renowned guitarist Steve Morse was brilliant in performing the parts that were previously performed and written by Ritchie Blackmore.

The crowd rose to their feet when the band started playing the opening notes of “Knocking At Your Back Door”. This song was a big hit for them in the 80’s and it helped them reach a new generation of fans. After a short but great keyboard solo by Don Airey that was dedicated to Jon Lord, DEEP PURPLE performed “Perfect Strangers”. This was the title track from the aforementioned 80’s release, with the opening bass riffs that are still recognizable 30 years later.

DEEP PURPLE concluded their set with their 3 most popular songs in their catalogue: “Space Truckin”, “Smoke On The Water” and “Hush”.

I can’t say enough about the performance of the band as a whole. The back line of bassist Roger Glover and drummer and only founding member, Ian Paice were perfect in their roles with vocalist Ian Gillian really standing out. It was a sight and sound extravaganza that many young and even veteran bands should take notes from. No back tracks or lip-syncing, just straightforward rock n roll.

The DEEP PURPLE and JUDAS PRIEST tour is rolling on and hopefully heading to a city near you. The tour is another example of veteran bands that still have it even with their members reaching their high sixties in age. With time not on everyone’s side, it is imperative to go see your favorite bands for one last time and thankfully DEEP PURPLE and JUDAS PRIEST are giving you the opportunity. Now the only thing left is for you is to take it, as you have “one life and you might as well live it up”.

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos Ny Travis Failey/Rocket Sports & Entertainment

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